Sep 12, 2011

PROFILE | Denis Beaubois| Clouded Messages

Denis Beaubois , Currency, 2011

As shown on his website, Denis Beaubois is an Australian artist living in Sydney, and was born in 1970. Generally being a video artist, Beaubois has already began going down a very contemporary path by the fact that he is using a newer medium  coupled with the deep messages he seems to be trying to get across. 

One of his latest most well known works is entitled “Currency”. This work is solely two stacks of $10,000 dollars. The total amount of money of $20,000, and is in two stacks placed on a white pedestal. Oddly enough this work, in late July, sold for $21,350.

So, why exactly was this money, that was so "artfully placed", sold for $21,350? This amount of money obviously being much larger than the actual amount of money that is present in the art work. This is very "Camp" or kitsch. The irony spawning from the fact that anything can be art, is also another example of "Art is art". In one his video works, "A Complex Collapse" , Beaubois  shows simple actions such as a fermenting beer and a beer exploding due to pressure. What makes hese videos interesting is that they are both showed in slow motion. He illustrates the simple idea of time itself being art. While being showed in slow motion it in a way does make it more art. This makes the viewer truly think about what they are looking at, versus what one does while viewing a realist's painting. Showing an action so simple, yet slowed down so the viewer must focus more, helps to create a whole new kind of art. The smallest of details can be recognized. Details such as the slow fizz before the exploding of the glass, or how the cracks all appear at once. The intricate beauty in this action is rarely seen because of how quickly it goes by, just as it does in life. The smallest of actions are so beautifully complex it is hard to notice them due to the amount of things surrounding us in life now a days and how quickly things go by. 

The way Beaubois illustrates the beauty of life is, is shown again in his video “As it Happens”. As told on his biography:

"As it Happens meditates upon the seductive nature of a total observation society. Motivated by the CNN "catch phrase" of "Live as it happens coverage", the work attempts to capture the event as it occurs. The words are recorded as they emerge from the inside of the throat. There is barely time for the formation of speech before the process is captured on video. Ironically the camera, in locating itself as close to the source as possible, ends up interfering with the delivery of information. The tongue and mouth are restricted and thus unable to properly articulate the words due to the cameras presence As it Happens attempts to question the possibility of objectivity in a climate where the reporting of events has become a lucrative commodity.”

The Group Stare, VideoPerformance, Canberra Contemporary Art Space , 2000 

Using such irony and simplicity makes the idea of life even more precious and beautiful. As I was sitting and writing this I walked into the other room to get a glass of water. My roommate was watching a Television series called “Planet Earth”. The videos shown on the show were as well using slow motion to show the beauty of something one usually doesn’t see, which was in this case a moth flying. In another work entitled “Group Stare”, Beaubois had groups and individuals stare into each other’s eyes, yet it is not to see how can do it longer. You can come and go as you please, yet re-stare once back in the position. This records how the simple action of a stare can as well be beautiful. After finding Beaubois I was very pleased to see that his message was that one should find the beauty in life. I am one who constantly see’s these small beauties in my everyday life, it is wonderful to see it illustrated through art.

-Mary Gardner

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